Flying The Costly Skies

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 - 10:35am

Airlines report big profits from baggage and reservation fees.

Airlines have raked in more $4.3 billion in extra fees for changing tickets and checking luggage in recent months.

"The baggage fees out of all the fees seem to be the ones that irk the consumers the most," says AOL Travel Editor Beth Caulfield.

Through the first nine months of this year, Delta Airlines has packed-up up over $1.26 billion in total fees, with more than $733 million just for baggage.

American Airlines is number two in baggage fees at $431-million, and US Airways third at $388-million.

For air travelers, more carry on luggage means crowded cabins and a slower boarding process.

Experts say air carriers will continue to look at ways to speed-up boarding, and to raise even more money.

"Some of those will include WiFi, continuing to bundle things like premium boarding and premium seats, some new meal options and other things like that," says Caulfield.

With holiday budgets already stressed, that's not welcome news for air travelers who are packing their bags this holiday season.

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